Christmas in Vienna

Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
Trip End Jan 15, 2009

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas in Vienna

No snow!!! Very disappointing. It is actually unseasonably warm.. though at times it can be extremely cold! Breakfasted late (9am) so to make the day go faster.. we are booked in for lunch at 3pm in Grinzing.
Most of the team went for a walk and found that the kaffee shop was open in the hotel..not much else is.Merry Christmas. The bells had chimed at midnight and so the Austrians party.Yipee. Zery formal und proper.
Heute (today) ist Donnerstag (Thursday) 25 Dezember 2008 - Christmas at last!!! 
We caught the 2.18pm strassenbahn (tram) zu Grinzing, arriving at 2.25pm..Kate fed the ticket metre the whole way with small coins but @ EUR 2.20 ea for a 7 min ride x 10, it wasn't an economical journey!Anyway, Grinzing is very picturesque village with a beautiful church very subtly dressed for Christmas day.Just up on Cobenzlgasse corner was our restaurant, Brandl Ilse. We were 20 mins early but we were shown to our table - very unusual for Austrians to be that flexible!!Our hostess explained the menu - which was all in local Viennese dialect -in English, much to our relief. We had typical local tucker - including Griessnockerlsuppe, Huehnereinmachsuppe, Frittatensuppe, Kuebissuppe (soups) Hirsch medallions (venison) and Fasenen Brust (pheasant?). We overdosed on desserts - we had to have Apfelstrudel - just cos we're in Oesterreich - Sacherschnitte (not the famous Sacher Torte but close) und the house speciality Cremeschnitte! Delicious. We drank local wines Junger Lauser (weiss), Feiler Artinger Zweigelt (rot) und ein Beerenauslese for a dessert wine. 
The boys all shot a goal (Tor) in the bathrooms!! (see picture) 

Half the group walked back (all downhill) in the pitch dark (it was around 5.30pm) and the softees caught the tram.Great meal - which needed walking off! We all felt that we had not over-eaten as is the tendency on Christmas Day - and we reckon it was because there were no pre-dinner snacks.  Anyway, because it was dark and cold- and we'd eaten a decent meal, it was off zu bett. No way, said Leigh - not at 6pm.. so we watched the English language channel which had "Changing Rooms" - a concept no Austrian could contemplate - followed by that great winter edition of "Top Gear" where they send the Mini down a ski ramp! Could hardly keep our eyes open and we eventually faded, knowing we had a reasonably early start am morgen.
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